A Lots of Thanks and Some of That Reminiscing Too

So here we are at the edge of the year 2008, which legally warrants us to reminisce about the good old 365 days that had passed us all. Ah 2008! This year had been a good year. This year had been a bad year.

But before I leave this wondrous year (and be drowned by the memories of my year end reminiscing), let me thank few people that I believe made my 2008 wonderful. I should have thanked them in person, but I prefer to show my gratitude in secret, and this blog is perfect hiding place.

First of all, let me thank my dearest SMS ally Grace. She had been a good friend even though we hadn’t saw her for more than a year. We vowed to be the best of friends and a bestfriend she did become. For a year of our friendship, she shared her joys and tears. She is more of a sister to me and I am glad to have her as a part my personal family.

May I also thank my buddy Mark. Though I don’t treat him a close acquaintance, he had been a valuable ally in the workplace. A wonderful part of a survey crew. Without him, maybe I had gone nuts during our first ever survey. It is good to have a topnotcher in the board to be at your side.

I give thanks to my bank buddies, especially Anjo and Tasha. Thank you for letting me join your circle even though both of you are in a different department than me. Sorry, though, because I left you early. Go strong and I hope to see you both together again maybe in Goldilocks.

And they are not the only bank buddies that I have. I thank another Mark, Annie, Lenin, Raymond and the other whom I forgot the name. Thank you for standing by me during the greatest crisis in life in this year.

Hey Maria Reina, don’t think that I forgotten you. Thanks for being my newfound friend this year. Your SMS messages delight me always. Hope to have a nice talk with you again. If you ever dropped by my blog, just post me comment so that I may know. Enjoy your 2009 mixing paint mademoiselle alchemist.

I also thank my brother. His sudden transformation from an atheist to a devout catholic affected my thinking about God. He brought the Holy Spirit to my heart. May you grow in faith brother. And I am sorry for the lost readings, we failed to track the “magbobote.”

I also thank my other brother my sister, my beloved mother and the great father of mine. Thanks again for being there. Thank you very much for making our home a wonderful place to go home to.

I also thank my college batch mates and friends who accompanied me during the board exam reviews.

I also thank my Beloved. We had not seen each other for more than a year, yet she is still there. I am so glad to have someone to trust and to be trusted in return. I hope to see my beloved this year. May the Lord guide her always.

Finally, I am thanking my Lord God for giving me the blessed 365 days. Although, I betrayed Him for so many times, I know that He is still with me, my merciful and loving God. Thanks for Your patience and love. May You always guide me for another 365 days. I also thank you for coming down to us to conquer death by dying on the cross. May Your kingdom come.

Ha! That’s so few for a whole year and I bet that many people had been left out. I am sorry and I thank you all to anyone who been with this past year. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you all.

So Happy New Year to all and enjoy the festivities. May all of us have a wonderful year 2009. Ingat.

The Beach of Laiya Aplaya in Batangas

Looking for a nice stretch of sand and a relaxing piece of the sea not far away from the Metro? Then Laiya Aplaya in Batangas might be the right destination for you. Laiya Aplaya is just four hours travel away from Manila.
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The beach of Laiya Aplaya
The beach of Laiya Aplaya.

How to Go to Laiya Aplaya

If you are like me who do not own a car and do not have friends good enough to take you there, then commuting is to Laiya Aplaya is your best option. Going to that beach haven is easy and only require at least three transfers of public transport. First is the provincial bus from Manila, a public utility van ride to San Juan then a jeepney ride to the Laiya Aplaya. So, gather all your “streetmartiness” and patience and you will be at the beach in no time.

If you are residing in the Quezon City area, then the Jam Bus Transit is suitable for you. The terminal of this bus company is located along EDSA near the building of GMA Network. Ride a bus that will take you to Lipa City. The bus will travel along South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

Upon reaching Lipa City, look for the public utility van terminal. Ride the van that is going to the town of San Juan. The travel time is about one and a half hours. So, while traveling, pipe in your MP3 player and enjoy the scenery of farms, mountains, and lots of cows.

The last stretch of your commuting will be a public utility jeepney in San Juan that will take you to Laiya Aplaya. Before you ride the jeepney, I recommend that you go to their public market and buy toiletries, foods, drinks that you want. Things like these will be much more expensive in Laiya Aplaya. The travel time from San Juan to Laiya Aplaya is about 30 minutes.

Laiya Aplaya Beach and Amenities

Laiya Aplaya was developed to be a top tourist destination in Batangas. Many beach resorts could be found in the area. Our group chose the Triple G Beach Resort. Air-conditioned rooms here costs about 4,500 pesos with a bathroom, a cable TV, and an LPG stove. The room is spacious enough to accommodate up to eight people. In this resort, visitors are allowed to bring their own food and beer.
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Beach volleyball net at Laiaya Aplaya
Beach volley, anyone?

The beach is good as any other developed beach and is shallow that you could still walk fifty meters away from the shore. The sands of the shore are coarse and better than those found in Puerto Galera, which has pebbly shore. The sea bottom is quite rocky and contains some dead sea corals.
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The sea of Laiya Aplaya
Evening is coming to Laiya Aplaya.

The area has no water skiing or banana boat rides. The sea of Laiya Aplaya is well protected to be of any value to avid water surfers. Visitors can snorkel on some of the remaining coral reefs in the open seas. The snorkeling costs for 700 to 900 pesos and lasts for an hour. The snorkeling site is alive with corals and starfishes. However, the coral reefs are no match with the ones I saw in the seas of Davao Oriental.
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Boats on the beach of Laiya Aplaya
Fishing boats on the beach of Laiya Aplaya.
All in all, the Laiya Aplaya can't match Boracay or the beautiful beaches in the Visayas. However, development is still ongoing and it seems that better things will come to Laiya Aplaya.
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Mountains of Laiya Aplaya


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Did you came here to know more about Laiya Aplaya? Just leave a comment if you have any queries regarding this beautiful place.

I Do not Want to be a Ninong

In the past, being a ninong or ninang (godfather or godmother) entails a big honor and responsibility. Being a godparent in those times entailed that the person is being trusted to be the second mother or father of the child that is being baptized. That aside from sponsoring the child’s baptism, the godparents are given the responsibility to help the parents in guiding and caring for the child to become a God fearing-person when he/she grows up.

Those were the days. Being a godparent nowadays is equivalent to being a money-machine every Christmas. Every December 25th of every year, kids (who you do not see for a whole year) will pop in front of your house, will greet you a “merry Christmas and a happy New Year,” linger for a while and pretend that they are enjoying their visit until you (the veritable ninong or ninang who decided not to hide this Christmas season) give their much anticipated “ampao” or gifts. Then they will leave and you will see them again next Christmas day.

With that, the true essence of god parenting was trampled upon. What is the sense of being a second mother or father of a child if you can only see them once a year? In the current set of things, ninongs and ninangs are being equated to money in the eyes of the children. The materialistic and commercialistic set of things rendered the children to expect “ampaos” and gifts from their godparents every 25th of December.

I believe that in the times of old godchildren visited their godparents because they genuinely wanted to see their second mothers and fathers. Godparents, on the other hand, give presents to their grandchildren because they genuinely love their “adopted” sons and daughters. In those times, the central theme is love. The love between the children and their grandparents. Gift giving was just in the sidelines.

Sadly, as the time wore on, that love was relegated to the sidelines and gift giving was placed in the center. This phenomenon is coincident with the commercialization of Christmas wherein Jesus was replaced by the materialistic white-bearded mascot named Santa Claus.

With these things, I am not comfortable to become a ninong. I do not to be a money-machine every Christmas. I want to be a true godparent, someone that will help in making a child a respectable and God-loving person.

Tinolang Dance Dance

Anak ng tokwa! Kina-iiwas iwasan kong sumali sa mga program na may sayaw sayaw noong undergraduate days ko, tapos eto! Kung kelan nagtatrabaho na ako ay ako pa ang na-assign na maging coordinator para sa Christmas presentation ng department namen.

Malas pa naman ako sa mga group presentations na tulad nito. Naalala ko tuloy 'yung palpak nameng group report sa Psych 101. Walang kwenta yung kinalabasan. Idagdag pa 'yung group report sa Kas 1. Tapos 'yung presentation sa Kas 2. Ang maipagmamalaki ko na nga lang siguro ay yung mga sinalihan kong presentations noong high school ako.

So, yung presentation namen ngayon ay masasabi kong di maganda. Una ay we only had three days of practice. Labo labo pa 'yung costume. Pasaway pa yung mga dancers ng partner nameng department. Buti na lang at maasahan ko 'yung mga isinama ko sa department namen.

Hay, ewan ko ba sa sarili ko. Hindi ko makuhang mag-enjoy kapag may presentation on stage. Puro problema 'yung nasa isip ko palagi.

Bukas ay judgment day na ng pinaggagawa namen. Ahhh....kahihiyan! Sa susunod ayoko ng maging coordinator at maging dancer.

Ah, I believe in You my dear Lord na ibinigay Ninyo sa akin tong pagsubok na ito dahil mayroon Kayong importanteng bagay na gusto Ninyong matutunan ko. Basta tulungan Ninyo kame bukas ha. Thank You Jesus Christ.

Code Geass

Friends and enemies in Code Geass


At last, another anime that caught my fancy. Code Geass is now one of my favorite mech anime since Gundam Wing. This anime is about Lelouch, a prince of the Empire of Brittania, whose mother was murdered during their childhood. After their mother's death, Lelouch and his sister was thrown away by the emperor (his father) to the newly acquired territory of Japan (called as Area Eleven).

Hellbent to avenge the death of his mother and the lose of his sister's eyesight, Lelouch disguised himself as the masked Zero and started a protracted war against the Empire of Brittania. With the power of Geass (an ability to control anyone), he believes that he could acheive the destruction of Brittania and kill his mother's murderer.

Just like Gundam Wing, I like Code Geass because of its political undertone. Aside from the main storyline, this anime is also showcase the struggle between an invading nation and an oppressed nation. It also shows the hardships of the the oppressed people and their crushed dignity and liberty.

So in the end, will Lelouch acheive his ends? Will the oppressive empire fall and lead to the liberation of Japan?

CC of Code Geass
Isn't she pretty?